By Marija Avramovic – Zagreb
Late last night Slavko Linic, Croatian ex finance minister, was expelled from the SDP (Social Democratic Party) in a secret poll of the party’s Main Committee (GO). Fifty members of the GO voted for his expulsion, with 47 of them voting against it, with one abstention.
The criticizers of the party’s president and Croatian prime minister had already embarked on a discussion of the results of European elections, from the very beginning of the session, which started on Saturday morning. Throughout the day, members of GO led heated debates over the expulsion of Linic and Milanovic’s government leadership. Many of the prominent members of the SDP openly accused Milanovic for the poor election results and for party’s dive, and directly asked that he takes accountability.
After a secret ballot, which didn’t start until 10 pm, and after counting the votes, the Chairman of the GO of the SDP, Josip Leko, informed reporters about the outcome of the vote adding that ‘the dichotomy on this issue cannot be denied. This schism is really deep. Whether the question of Slavko’s exclusion create deeper crisis within the SDP, we’ll have to wait and see’.
‘I’m sorry we have been bothering citizens with this. Now we will have to seriously consider addressing economic issues’, Milanovic briefly told reporters at the end of the meeting.
SDP vice-president Zlatko Komadina, who earlier this week announced his candidacy for party president, said last night that a real party leader does not divide the party.
“The division in the party is evident; these are two worlds in the SDP”, said Komadina and added that he thought that last night’s plea wasn’t only about Linic, but also about Milanovic and how he’s not fit to lead the party nor the government.
“Linic is not that important, the essential thing is the way of managing the party,” he stressed.
The former Minister of Finance once again in front of the GO repeated that Milanovic, as the prime minister, misused the police. Milanovic, according to participants in last night’s closed session, referred to Linic’s claims as lies and said that he will use all means to defend the SDP, which he called the jewel.
After the GO’s meeting Slavko Linic briefly said that he remains strongly along with the SDP though he’s not its member anymore. “I do not think of conspiring against my own party”, he said shortly.
Regular monthly survey Promotions plus on social and political preferences CRO Demoskop, which was conducted at the beginning of this month, shows continued reduction of electoral support for the SDP, along with an increasing advantage of the HDZ party on the scale of electoral preferences.
HDZ is the first with 22.9% support, which is slightly more than 2% better compared to May.
The latest survey from Promotions plus shows that support of the SDP continues to drop and that they enjoy the confidence of only 19.6% of the voters (compared to 19.7% a month ago, and 23.9% a year ago).
Results of this survey show that intra-party frictions, scandals and poor communication between the premier and his ministers could easily lead to the fall of the government itself.